PMPML buses getting stuck in jams has become a daily affair outside the ST stand at Wakdewadi. (Photo: Manoj More)
A half-km-long stretch on the old Pune-Mumbai highway, at Wakdewadi, has seen traffic snarls almost daily since the state transport bus stand was shifted to the area. The situation was no different on Saturday, when several PMPML buses were stuck in a jam in the separate lane marked for them.
The bus stand was shifted to Wakdewadi to facilitate Metro work and the construction of another bus stand at its earlier site at Shivajinagar.
But the move has hit the flow of traffic on the old highway due to the frequent but beleaguered movement of state transport buses in and out of the bus stand.
While the PMPML buses ply on a separate lane, the narrow lane is also used by three-seater autorickshaws, leaving barely any space for the buses. As no traffic police personnel or warden is present at the site, traffic jams are a regular occurrence here.
On Saturday, as several PMPML buses remained entangled in a traffic jam, one of the bus drivers tried to reason with the autorickshaw drivers and urged them to move their vehicles away. This led to a spat as the autorickshaw drivers refused to move.
"This happens every day, we don't know what to do," said one of the drivers.
Prashant Inamdar, president of commuters' rights organisation Pedestrians First, said, "Everyday, bus drivers and auto drivers indulge in verbal spats at the spot where ST buses enter and exit. PMPML buses have been asked to ply on a lane which is too narrow ... the situation is being ignored by traffic police". "The autorickshaws should be asked to park away from the ST stand... otherwise the chaos will continue," he said.
PMPML spokesperson Priyanka Sonawane said the transport body has not received any complaints on the issue. "But we will look into it," she said. Police Commissioner K Venkatesham said he will immediately initiate action in the matter.